Danang Buddhist festival – Explore one spiritual beauty of locals
Buddhism is the most well-known religion in Vietnam in general and Danang in particular. That’s why every year, there are big Buddhist festivals in this most worthy living city. Attending a Danang Buddhist festival gives you a chance to explore the local spiritual culture. But at the same time, it’s a way to immerse in the peaceful ambiance for healing your body and soul.
The Avalokitesvara Festival – The biggest Danang Buddhist festival
- Time: 19th February (Lunar calendar)
- Location: Quan The Am Pagoda, 48 Su Van Hanh Street, Ngu Hanh Son District, Danang
To be considered as one of the most impressive tourism events in Danang, Avalokitesvara festival is held annually. This Danang Buddhist festival is also known as Quan The Am festival. The festival honors Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva and educates people toward love and good things in life.
Avalokitesvara festival consists of religious ceremonies and festival activities. Whilst, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Statue procession is the most eagerly ritual among others. Especially, organizers will choose some girls to disguise as Bodhisattvas and go after the procession. They have to meet the strict standards of beauty and knowledge and prepare for the festival carefully in 2-3 months ago.
In this year 3-days festival, there are solemn rituals like a light procession, an incense-offering ceremony in memorial of Princess Huyen Tran, a ceremony to pray for peace and prosperity, and a ceremony to pay tribute to those who founded the Non Nuoc stone carving handicraft traditional village.
Apart from the ceremonies, this Danang Buddhist festival offers a wide range of interesting cultural activities. Some popular activities are boat racing, Marble Mountain photo exhibition, fascinating martial arts performance. Moreover, one art group from Japan will treat visitors with captivating activities. For examples like Japanese calligraphy art performance, Ikebana flower arrangement arts, paintings and photos exhibition, and tea ceremonies.
Being the most attractive and creative Danang Buddhist festival, Avalokitesvara festival draws big attention from the public, a large number of Buddhist dignitaries, monks, nuns, and followers, along with visitors from both home and abroad.
Buddha’s Birthday festival – the big ceremony at all Danang pagodas
- Time: 15th April (Lunar calendar)
Like Christmas, Buddha’s Birthday is really a big event with Buddhists. Even the main ceremony taking place on 15th April, all pagodas in the city have celebrated it for a week. All the pagodas will be decorated to welcome the Sakyamuni Buddha’s Birthday with featured ornaments linking to Buddhism symbols. Furthermore, they will immerse in the colorful lights, illuminating lanterns, and candles. Therefore, if you visit the pagodas in time of this Danang Buddhism festival, you can admire a religious and brilliant scene at the same time.
Due to a Danang Buddhism festival in year round, there are a large number of Buddhists visiting pagoda to attend ceremonies, give offerings and show honor to Buddha. Depending on each pagoda, they will have different exciting activities. However, they still hold important ceremonies like Buddha statue washing rite, incense offering, Sutra Phap Hoa chanting, etc.
>> Pay a visit to explore the spiritual life of locals through holy pagodas in Danang
Besides solemn rituals, there are also other interesting activities such as Buddhism themed performance, quiz playing, marching and so on. Especially, in this week of Buddha Birthday, the Buddhist monks, nuns, and fellow worshippers also do incense-offering ceremony in memorial of historical heroes, build the united houses, visit and give gifts for the hospital, orphaned children, etc. They are meaningful social activities that educate human beings to love each other and look toward the good things in life.
Yulan festival or Ghost festival – Show gratefulness to parents and ancestors
- Time: 15th July (Lunar calendar)
Derived from the legend of Maudgalyayana saved his mother from the hungry ghosts realm, Yulan festival is an annual festival to honor parents and ancestors. In addition, the seventh month is when the gates of hell are opened. Then, the ghosts are free to roam the earth to find food and entertainment. Therefore, this is an occasion for human beings to help hungry ghosts. That’s why Yulan festival is also known as Ghost festival.
Last year, Yulan festival was held at a front yard at Hell Cave (or Am Phu Cave in Vietnamese) amongst Marble Mountain. Hell Cave is a famous spiritual cultural spot at the foot of Thuy Son Mountain. Notably, there is a statue of Bodhisattva Kingdom placed in the cave. He is a Bodhisattva who save spirits in the underworld according to the Buddhist concept. This Danang Buddhist festival drew massive locals attending.
The festival had many featured activities like holding a requiem for spirits of heroes who died in the war, lighting paper lantern to pray for peace, offering incense for Maudgalyayana, give scholarship for suffering students, and so on. Especially, there is a significant custom in this Danang Buddhist festival. People who have living mothers will bear a red rose and give thanks while those without mothers will bear a white rose and attend services to pray for the deceased. This is a ritual to show gratitude and pay tribute to mothers.
Join a Danang Buddhist festival will bring to you an exciting cultural exploring journey. No need to be a Buddhist, if you have interested in Buddhism, this is an ideal chance to learn about it. Furthermore, not all the region have the same ritual so through Buddhist festivals, you can discover the local culture as well.